Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are major risk factors for chronic diseases. Reports of international and national experts and reviews of the current scientific evidence recommend goals for nutrient intake in order to prevent chronic diseases.
For diet, recommendations for populations and individuals should include the following:
- achieve energy balance and a healthy weight
- limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids
- increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and legumes, whole grains and nuts
- limit the intake of free sugars
- limit salt (sodium) consumption from all sources and ensure that salt is iodized
These recommendations need to be considered when preparing national policies and dietary guidelines, taking into account the local situation.
Improving dietary habits is a societal, not just an individual problem. Therefore it demands a population-based, multisectoral, multi-disciplinary, and culturally relevant approach.
More information on diet:
School Policy Framework: Implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health